Wednesday, July 19, 2006

an amazing trip trick: podee feeding system

One of the most staggering dilemmas in raising infant multiples, is how in the world to feed all three at once???

In the early days, I would nurse, then pump, then feed one of the babies with expressed milk in a bottle - while nursing the other two. This worked pretty well ... but, I found that I was constantly on the couch with a baby (or two) attached to me. Slowly, I began feeding the babies with bottles during the day, and nursing them in the evening and early morning. Once I made the transition to feeding all three of them with a bottle, I struggled with how to get all three of them fed at once.

Enter ... Podee Bottle.

(Imagine the clouds parting and a ray of sun shining on my weary face).

Podee Anatomy: The Podee is comprised of two tubes, separated by a disk, that are attached to a nipple and screwed on to a bottle. When a baby sucks on the nipple, milk goes up the tubing and in to their mouth. This allows for completely hands-free feeding, which is especially helpful when you have more babies than you do hands. And ... they are all hungry!

Podee Dynamics: I've heard some people say "I tried the Podee and it didn't work."

I always respond "Huh?"

So long as your baby has mastered the suck, swallow, breathe reflex (for our babies that wasn't well developed until they were a couple months old), a baby can use the Podee. People will say that they see the milk going "back down the tube" and assume it doesn't work. Here's my best attempt at explaining fluid mechanics:

There has to be a constant vacuum on the nipple to keep the tube entirely filled with milk. The fact is, babies aren't always sucking. They are swallowing and breathing. So, during those times when they swallow & breathe, the milk appears to be going back down the tube. When they do suck, they fill up the "reservoir" of the nipple - so there is always milk for them to swallow, when they suck again. If you ever wonder if they are really getting anything, just keep your eye on the volume, and you'll notice it's going down. If the volume isn't going down, there could be a problem with the nipple***. Read on ...

Other Podee Tips: You don't need to buy the "Podee" bottles. All you really need are the disks (or discs) that screw in to the collars - the straws (the short one that goes in the bottle, and the long one that goes to the nipple) and the disks (there are 2 disks per "feeding system" ... on screws on to the nipple part, and holds the long hose to the nipple - the other screws on to the bottle part - connecting the long hose to the short hose).

The cheapest route to go here - is to buy regular Gerber (Playtex) Bottles (9 oz) and just use the collars with the Podee disks and tubes. You'll need 2 collars PER bottle, though - so what I did is purchase the collars separately (directly from Podee). ***We used the hospital issued nipples rather than the Podee nipples. We found that these worked better. You just have to be sure they have a completely flat bottom (no ridges) to keep a good seal with the disk.

The Podees took some time to clean, but like everything else, we had a system in place. I had about 30 Podees. I used 12 Podees a day (3 bottles x 4 feedings a day) so I did not have to wash bottles every single day. The tubings were rinsed after each feeding (to remove gross contamination) and stockpiled in a cup. I would then clean all of the dirty tubes once every 2 or 3 days and reassemble the tubes, disks, and nipples, so I could just grab a Podee, attach it to a bottle and GO! GO! GO!

Podee Summary: This single invention simplified our life with infant triplets - more than I could have ever possibly imagined. Not only could we feed all three babies at once (which became increasingly important the older they became and would not tolerate waiting to be fed), I could prepare the rest of their meal while they had their bottle, and because they were fed while sitting upright, they had less incidence of gas and spit-up. Additionally, I could clip their nails while they'd eat, and I could easily feed the babies at home OR while on the go. 


Oh, Podee Bottle. How I love thee!

16 comments:

  1. If I still had babies, I do believe I would invest in that neat little system. Thanks for sharing the tip!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jen- I love the podee pictures. We used bottle props and bouncy seats or a unique double decker Indian style system I developed. It just did not work for me to feed them all seperately either!

    As for your question about clothes, I responded on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My friend who just had twins was given podees by her neighbor and told her she would love it! It looks like a neat gadget.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, isn't that nifty?! As a mom of twins, that would be SO useful!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow I can't even imagine feeding three babies at once...you must be very organized. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your babies are so cute - and how smart are you for figuring out how to feed them all at the same time? Good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cutest little things I've ever seen...

    ReplyDelete
  8. As usual, you never cease to amaze me! If I am ever in your shoes or at least have twins, I will be sure to try this system out!

    ;)
    Meg

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is the coolest contraption that I have ever seen! I wish I would have read it earlier. I ran into a pregnant woman and her husband at the store tonight and they had two stroller systems in their cart. I asked if they were having twins. Nope, triplets. They would have loved these. I should have gotten their names.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like a great thing to me. I'm sure it's much easier than feeding them all by hand. It was hard enough for me to do it with just one.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am the new mom of 11 week old twin girls, and I am definitely interested in that system! I am so excited I found your site--I am already getting great advice! Your triplets are adorable!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love podee bottles - I think I would have gone mad without them! Read more about them and my experiences at www.podeebottles.co.uk/blog

    ReplyDelete
  14. I LOVE my podee bottles! I am the mom of two boys 16 months apart. Although, I didn't have multiples I needed extra hands to care for two little guys. My baby is now 9 months old and will ONLY drink a podee. I agree with your advice. So many people give up on them too early. Thanks for your post!

    ReplyDelete
  15. judy strickland7/25/13, 4:41 AM

    I am a grandmother who discovered Podee Bottles on ebay and ordered some for my grandbaby. It does take a minute for the baby to understand that they have to just "keep sucking" to get the milk up to the nipple. Once they "get" that - there's no problem. The first time or two, I sucked the milk up into the tube and then, wiped it off, and let the baby continue. She learned very quickly how to suck the milk into the tube. I used to push her in the stroller and people would stop me EVERYWHERE and ask "what is that" - so I told them what they were and how to get them. The bottle does need to STAND UPRIGHT at all times, so it helps if you can find the bottle insulator with the velcro strap to hold it up in a highchair or stroller. You do NOT want the bottle laying down - they will begin to get air if that happens. My problems is that I can no longer find the insulated holder for the bottles. The Podee Site is closed down - so ebay is all I have. These bottles are medically proven to prevent ear infections due to baby getting less air - and that also leads to less colic. These are the best baby items I've ever seen.

    ReplyDelete